One of the constant battles we have with ourselves is to limit the use of our digital gadgets in some way or the other. While we’re very well aware of all the consequences of overusing our portable devices, more often than not we give in to the addiction. I have personally observed that I’ve been a victim of FOMO and that I had no boundaries to the usage of my devices. I was unknowingly checking my social media accounts, text messages and emails almost like there’s no tomorrow and I need to consume all this information this very instance.
Although having my neck down all the time had started giving me trouble, I didn’t quite pay that much attention to it. Since my addiction knew no boundaries, my gadgets followed me in the bedroom where again I would slip into my bed while reading in awkward posture. It was the same when I sat on the sofa or anywhere else for that matter. Screen scrolling had become second nature to me. Consequently, my eyes would begin to feel strained and dry. My neck and shoulder muscles had given me enough signs that they were tired. That would gradually lead to frequent headaches.
There came a point when I knew that if I didn’t put an end to this addiction, there would be serious repercussions. A digital detox (read self control) was the only way out. I decided to start with baby steps, the first one being to check my social media accounts only twice a day and text messages only if they were important to be replied to (therefore, no responses and continued conversations on jokes, riddles or any other forwarded messages). Work emails too would be checked only till a certain hour of the day. I slowly began practising no exposure to any devices an hour before bedtime. When I got better at that in due time, I pushed myself to not lay my hands on them for half an hour after waking up.
Not only have these measures helped me keep my physical pains in check but also enabled me to control my habits better. Giving into temptation is easy but it’s a trap that only we can crawl out of, if we want to. The real test was when I went on an island for a short weekend getaway with some friends and found out that there was no network or wifi over there. We were all compelled to digitally detox but much to our surprise it was a welcome change. I suddenly felt like all my other senses were heightened and I was more attentive to everything around me. Not having my phone with me all the time was somehow making me feel lighter and better. This may have been completely psychological but all I knew was that the detox was working. It made me realise that it doesn’t have to be a getaway to such an island every time to detox digitally. This is completely in my hands and with a little self discipline I can do this whenever and wherever to let my body feel this way.